We need to uphold Ghana’s democratic credentials

Yesterday, the headline for our editorial was “Election 2020: Political parties deserve commendation.

The idea was to express appreciation for the role the political parties played in ensuring the success of the general election, which observers describe as peaceful, fair and transparent.

In fact, there can be no democracy without political parties, and the announcement of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), as the winner of the presidential election and president-elect, puts many hearts and minds at rest.

Many people were apprehensive when the election management body, the Electoral Commission (EC), could not live up to its promise of delivering the results in 24 hours.

Now, there is a winner, and there are the also-rans. The end of every competition is another crucial moment because it is at this point that other developments related to the competition ensue. This is acceptable, but how we handle such situations is what is at issue.

Moments after the announcement of the winner of the December 7, 2020, general election, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) held a presser in Accra, and made it clear that the party would not accept the results. Therefore, the party would fight and defend its position.

Democracy, fortunately, has given all of us practising it, particularly political parties, channels to resolve issues or disputes. For electoral disputes, there are two ways that readily come to mind. Either the party with complaints decides to let go everything or goes to court.

Happily, even before the announcement of the winner, on Tuesday, three observer teams, namely the African Union Election Observation Mission (AUEOM), the Commonwealth Observer Group (COG) and the ECOWAS Observation Mission (EOM), had asked the two main political parties, the NDC and the NPP, to go to court, should they have any issues relating to the polls.

The Ghanaian Times believes that the AUEOM, the COG and the EOU based their suggestion on the premise that elections naturally would have issues and that however light others may see such issues, the competitors may think differently.  

Therefore, there should be no attempt from any quarters to rubbish issues raised by the NDC as that can inflame passions and aggravate the situation.

For this reason, the Ghanaian Times would like to appeal to the political players from either divide to show cool heads so that Ghana can maintain her peace. This way, the citizens can go about their various endeavours freely to sustain their lives.

We are making this appeal because it is the right of people to seek resolution of disputes and problems that hunt them and make life uncomfortable for them. But the only caveat is that everyone’s freedom ends where someone else’s nose begins.

In the run-up to Election 2020, there were the usual calls for “peace before, during and after the election”. We have passed the “before and during” tests in spite of the isolated electoral incidents, and we need to pass “the after test” too.

This way, Ghana will remain the torch bearer of democratic credentials in the turbulent West African sub-region.

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